The Tonight Show
The Tonight Show is an American late-night talk show that has aired on NBC since 1954.
The Tonight Show has been hosted by Steve Allen (1954–1957), Jack Paar (1957–1962), Johnny Carson (1962–1992), Jay Leno (1992–2009), and Conan O'Brien (2009–present).
The longest-serving host to date was Carson, who hosted The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for 30 seasons, from the fall of 1962 through the spring of 1992. Carson, an amateur magician, invited quite a few magicians on as guests.
One of Carson's skits was "Carnac the Magnificent" , one of his most well known routines. Carnac was a psychic with a large elaborate turban and a plethora of envelopes, all of which (according to Ed McMahon) "a child of four could plainly see" were "hermetically sealed" and had been kept in "a mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnalls' porch since noon" that day. Carnac's act involved a variation of the magician's billet reading trick: divining the answer to a question putatively written on a card sealed inside one of the envelopes, then opening the envelope to reveal the question.
In 1973, Carson had a legendary run-in with popular psychic Uri Geller when he invited Geller to appear on his show. Carson wanted a neutral demonstration of Geller's alleged abilities, so, at the advice of his friend and fellow magician James Randi, he gave Geller several spoons out of his desk drawer and asked him to bend them with his psychic powers. Geller proved unable.
Magicians that have appeared on the Tonight Show are:
- Don Alan
- Doug Henning (December 25, 1974)
- Harry Lorayne
- James Randi
- Harry Blackstone
- Harry Blackstone Jr.
- Carl Ballantine
- Dean Dill
- Paul Gertner
- Ricky Jay (October 26, 1970)
- Penn and Teller
- Michael Skinner
- Richiardi Jr.
- Lance Burton
- Art Metrano
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